ARSENE Wenger complimented his players for showing both silk and steel in yesterday’s victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, writes Graeme Anderson.
The Gunners ground out a 1-0 win after being reduced to 10 men for the final half hour and a buoyant Wenger was thrilled with the way his players demonstrated their desire to keep their season alive by battening down the hatches.
“The game was tight at the end,” he said in acknowledgement of the Black Cats’ near continual pressure in the closing stages.
“But it was a game of a high level of intensity all the way through.
“We showed some brilliance going forward, in the first half especially, but, unfortunately, couldn’t score the second goal.
“And then we had to show the other side of our game in the second half, especially in the last 20 minutes when we were down to 10 men.
“We needed to show that we were committed and we needed to deal with everything Sunderland offered against us and I was delighted that, ultimately, we did that.
“In many ways though, it was a typical Premier League game played at a high tempo with a great deal of skill from both sides.”
Arsenal have been resilient on the road this season and Wenger reckoned they will need more of the same if they are to stay with the other top sides chasing a Champions League place.
But he believes the tenacity shown against Sunderland bodes well for the remainder of the campaign.
“We have been quite consistent away from home since the start of the season,” he pointed out.
“And you saw against Sunderland that my team is up for a fight – we would not have got the three points if we weren’t.
“We were under pressure after Spurs win over Newcastle in the lunch-time kick-off.
“I have said to the players that we cannot afford to drop points any more – I have said that no matter where we play we need the three points.
“We have to keep on winning games.”
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